Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function. Physical therapists are health care professionals who help individuals maintain, restore, and improve movement, activity, and functioning, thereby enabling optimal performance and enhancing health, well-being, and quality of life.

Physical therapy is provided for individuals of all ages who have or may develop impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions related to

  • Conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and/or integumentary systems or
  • The negative effects attributable to unique personal and environmental factors as they relate to human performance


Physical Therapists are responsible for:

  • Patient-related instruction
  • Mechanical and electrotherapeutic modalities
  • Physical agents
  • Assistive and adaptive devices and equipment as they relate to patient mobility and community access
  • Examining and evaluating patients with mechanical, physiological, and developmental impairments, functional limitations, and disability or other health-related conditions in order to determine a physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and planned therapeutic intervention
    1. Alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions that include:
      1. Therapeutic exercise
      2. Functional training in self-care as it relates to patient mobility and community access
  • Manual therapy techniques, including soft tissue massage, manual traction, connective tissue massage, therapeutic massage, and mobilization, i.e., passive movement accomplished within normal range of motion of the joint, but excluding spinal manipulation and adjustment
  • The therapeutic intervention of bronchopulmonary hygiene and debridement of wounds require a physician referral before initiation of treatment.
  • Preventing injury, impairments, functional limitations, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of fitness, health, and quality of life in all age populations
  • Engaging in consultation, testing, education, and research

The ABC’s of Pediatric Physical Therapy

What WE do:goals 3

Pediatric physical therapists (PTs) work with children and their families to assist each child in reaching their maximum potential to function independently and to promote active participation in home, school, and community environments. Physical therapists use their expertise in movement and apply clinical reasoning through the process of examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention. As primary health care providers, PTs also promote health and wellness as they implement a wide variety of supports for children from infancy through adolescence in collaboration with their families and other medical, educational, developmental, and rehabilitation specialists.

Pediatric physical therapy promotes independence, increases participation, facilitates motor development and function, improves strength and endurance, enhances learning opportunities, and eases challenges with daily caregiving.


What can the FAMILY do?

Parents and families have the primary role in their child’s development. The pediatric PT collaborates with the family to promote development and implement an individualized intervention program for the child. Families are supported through coordination of services, advocacy, and assistance to enhance the development of their child. This can include:

  • Positioning during daily routines and activitiesracing
  • Adapting toys for play
  • Expanding mobility options
  • Using equipment effectively
  • Facilitating safety for the home and community
  • Providing information on the child’s physical and health care needs
  • Smoothing transitions from early childhood to school and into adult life

Evidence-Based Practice

The integration of research findings and clinical expertise by pediatric PTs in order to collaborate with families, health care providers, and educators to provide best practice to every child. Pediatric physical therapists may use evidence-based practice to provide any of the following services as part of their plan of care:

  • Pediatric PTs have a special interest and desire to work with children and families and lend their unique talents and professional knowledge to children with many different conditions and strengths. Physical therapists and physical therapists assistants must be graduates of accredited educational programs and comply with rules of licensure, registration, and practice as applicable in any state in which they are practicing. Additional credentials related to specialization in content, skills, or other academic degrees may be used to further identify an individual and their practice.

Will your CHILD qualify?

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which includes provisions for pediatric physical therapy for children from birth to 21 years of age who are eligible for early intervention (Part C) or special education and related services (Part B) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires the provision of reasonable accommodations, including physical therapy, for persons with disabilities The Americans With Disabilities Act, which protects the rights of all individuals with disabilities.

Evidence-Based PracticeChelsea (136x200)

  • Developmental activities

  • Movement and mobility
  • Strengthening
  • Motor learning
  • Balance and coordination
  • Recreation, play, and leisure
  • Adaptation of daily care activities and
  • Routines
  • Equipment design, fabrication, and fitting
  • Tone managementaddison, gracie
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Posture, positioning, and lifting
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Burn and wound care
  • Cardiopulmonary endurance